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MAILBAG: ‘The Truth About WHYY’

whyy6.jpgDEAR PHAWKER,
We are a group of employees who wish to state the truth about WHYY. This five-page letter must come from a small number of individuals, and we are writing to tell you that the majority of us at WHYY do not share those expressed sentiments. We, the majority of WHYY employees, do not suffer from low morale. On the contrary, we are bullish about WHYY, and completely support the leadership of our President, and his Executive staff. We wonder how many other media entities enjoy the benefit of a leader who is able to integrate political astuteness, for-profit managerial acumen, and engineering skills. We face many challenges as a public media resource, working alongside competitive commercial markets. Having the benefit of our President’s experience has provided enormous benefits to WHYY, and we as employees have enjoyed the satisfaction of many successes.

We believe that WHYY is on the correct course, and most importantly, we completely support each and every strategic change necessary for WHYY’s future.


WHYY Employees (Veteran 10 years or more, and less than 10 years)



I also know first hand that WHYY management and our in-house leagl counsel has told staff that they are not permitted to contact board members. As stated in the letter to Bill, if staff choose to address the issues w/ management and the board, they would face unfair retribution. I’ve seen this happen to HYY employees who raise appropriate yet tough questions. Previously when this has occurred, the company has made the offending person’s life miserable until they leave. The following is something I wrote on a different blog today and thought it could add some context to the blogging on this site too.

I work on the administrative side at WHYY. The X-HYYer and other supporters of Bill clearly don’t understand the level of mistrust and low morale at the station. While I’m not sure a public letter was thewhyy-1.jpg way to address the issues mentioned, it really hit the nail on the head with the sentiments of many of our staff. I have worked here for more than 20 years, and I have never experienced a more resentful staff of it’s upper management. The backers of Bill fail to address the issues mentioned in the letter. They talk passed everything discussed and are probably senior management doing damage control. At this point, with nothing else working, I understand the frustrations of the group who wrote the letter and their reason for releasing it to the public.

From my point of view, the content of the letter is very accurate. It doesn’t state that Bill should be paid unreasonably, just more in line w/ other PBS/NPR affiliates. The ability of our company to serve it’s primary goal has been seriously impacted by Bill’s compensation. Administrative, creative, and technical staff do not expect to make the same as a CEO or other senior management, but as a non-profit company with a mission to serve the public, it is very excessive. I totally agree that the board of directors has been irresponsible in it’s decision making. Our employees realize that WHYY is a business, but we also have a responsibility that most others don’t have to adhere to.

Regarding the union, I know first hand that they are aware they earn more than non-union staff…we’ve told them that. It is the non-union staff that are the real underpaid employees…actually extremely underpaid.

While the letter was very hard hitting, it really detailed many of the issues that we talk about with each other on a regular basis.



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